There comes a point in every movement when you have to tell certain people they can’t come along for the ride.
I think it’s time I set some proper expectations about who Far Beyond The Stars is being written for.
The reason I’m doing this is simple:
I’m becoming tired of receiving e-mails and comments from people who want me to stop telling the truth. These people want my blog to be something other than it is.
These people want me to write a safer, cleaner, more picturesque idea of what reality actually is.
I won’t change my blog to cater to these fantasies. The harsh reality is that being minimalist can free you. You can’t have the McMansion and also do what I’m doing, it’s just not possible.
So, I’m sorry, I’ve got to establish some limits. I can’t cater to these people and still make meaningful change. So, at the end of this post I’m going to do the unthinkable, I will ask these people to leave.
I don’t care of my subscriber count goes down. I don’t care if less people buy my book.
The most important thing is that we weed the naysayers and the dream zappers out of this movement, so we can focus on the ultimate goal for everyone involved: being minimalist in order to live and work from anywhere.
This is where I’m coming from.
I’m writing this from the perspective of how I’m actually living my life. I know it’s possible because I’m living the life that I write about.
It’s my fault, it’s not very clear when you come on the site what I write about. The internet is a big place and there are a lot of different people (with different goals) who may stumble across my blog. I’m going to make some changes to the layout so my purpose for writing is clearer.
I borrowed the above headline from Jonathan Mead’s Illuminated Mind(a blog which I highly respect), because I think it is the best way to describe the way I’m feeling. I hope you’ll agree, or stop reading this blog.
Far Beyond The Stars is about being minimalist in order to live and work from anywhere.
What Far Beyond The Stars is not about:
- Being happy at your day job until you get old retire and die.
- Purchasing heaps of disposable goods because the TV told you to.
- Buying expensive handbags and reading fashion magazines.
- Having babies, getting a minivan, and going to soccer practice.
- Being content with having a dull and stupid life.
- Settling for less for the best because you think you aren’t good enough.
- Accepting the status-quo and embracing mediocrity.
Why am I saying this?
The comments and emails are from people who want to live safe lives buying too much stuff, instead of pursuing their dreams until they get old and retire and then die.
I’m challenging their perception of how they live their lives. It makes these people scared, because I’m different.
I’ve found a way to live free in a society that wants you to conform, spend more money than you make, and settle for less than the best.
It’s no wonder people think I’m wrong. These ideas destroy the notion that a safe, secure, and incredibly expensive future is what everyone wanted.
The American Dream is dead, there are now millions of American Dreams. This is simply one dream.
A brief definition of being minimalist.
Being minimalist, for me, is about living with less than 100 things so I can move wherever I want. This allows me the freedom to move to San Francisco Bay in May for literally $125 (plane ticket!) + costs for new housing.
I can do this because I am not moving a huge U-haul full of junk across the entire country. All my stuff fits in a backpack.
This doesn’t mean your definition of minimalism can’t be different.Joshua Becker is one of my favorite minimalists, and his e-book Simplifyis about applying rational minimalism while living in the suburbs with a family of four. If y0ur definition of minimalism is closer to Joshua’s, I definitely suggest reading his blog (maybe even instead of mine.)
I define minimalism for myself and for my blog as reducing your possessions to make it easier to live and work from anywhere.
There are many ways to apply minimalism, mine is simply one way. It is not the only way.
The benefits of being minimalist.
Being minimalist, as I’ve defined it above, also means that my life-overhead is only food + housing. For instance: last month I spent $750 on rent in Brooklyn and $350 on food. I had a few beers with awesome people. There are a few other costs, but it’s not uncommon for my life in New York of all the most expensive places to cost less than $1500 because of the life choices I’m teaching you to make here.
When I tell people to move to Portland, it’s because your rent will be $350 and your food costs $200. I know because when I lived in Portland these were my expenses.
The reason this scares people is simple: If your life can cost less than $1500 in New York, why aren’t you here if you want to be? It’s a myth that living in a city has to be more expensive. It can be, but it doesn’t need to be.
This freedom from cost enables you to build a better life.
It’s a myth that our lives should cost so much. This lie is perpetuated by advertising and a dying factory culture that dominated our society for the last 150 years.
If your life costs $5000 a month and you’re struggling, it’s because you’ve been lied to by society. Not because I’m writing things that aren’t true.
I assume that everyone reading this blog is somewhat into the idea that being minimalist leads to having more freedom. This is what the blog is about, this is what The Art of Being Minimalist is about.
A brief definition of working anywhere.
The Internet has fundamentally changed the way we do business. People who bought things in a physical form and in physical stores (except for food, which will eventually all be locally grown) are becoming a dying breed.
I’m 25 years old, and my generation is revolutionizing the way we learn and the way we consume information. We do not listen to what the TV tells us to buy. We get our information online, and for the most part we don’t pay for it — unless it’s incredibly good stuff.
What does this change mean?
The reason you hear about newspapers dying, bookstores struggling, and the car manufacturers filing for bankruptcy is all connected. It’s all one big conspiracy that almost everyone doesn’t know about yet.
Everything is changing because of one simple fact: everyone can make a difference.
Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, wrote about this redistribution of power and influence on his blog a few days ago.
The democratization of everything.
The Internet has enabled every single person in the world to be a creator. Previous to this only the people who could get on TV could create things — which led to 150 years of big business domination.
This is why I keep telling everyone to start creating online. Because now, right now, is the moment in time when it is actually possible to create amazing work, start a movement, and make a difference while supporting yourself online.
I don’t think it’ll get any harder to create a movement online, but you might as well start now. You could have 2600 subscribers after 6 months of blogging, like I do. This is plenty of subscribers to support your life without a day job if you apply minimalism the way I do.
How are being minimalist and working anywhere connected?
It certainly isn’t easy to strike out on your own and start creating your own movements in order to work from anywhere. This is why I combined the idea of being minimalist in order to live and work from anywhere.
If you have less stuff, if your overhead is low, you give yourself permission, funding, and time to pursue your goals.
If your life costs $500 a month, you can do almost anything.
If your life costs $5000 a month you will be a prisoner to the dying corporate system until someone decides you aren’t needed 5-10 years down the road. Then where are you? Out on the street because society changed while you were working under florescent lights.
This is what happened to the people who lost their jobs (and the ones who still don’t have them) when the great recession happened. They woke up one day to a world that was vastly different for the one they thought they’d signed up for. Then they were asked to pack up their stuff and leave their cushy cubicle chairs.
Big business cares about you until the moment they don’t need you anymore, and then that dream you have of retiring to the beach dies with your job — this happens far more frequently in the velocity of the modern world. Besides, waiting until you’re 65 to have fun is a silly way to live your life.
When someone tells you it’s safer to be a career employee at a company (or in education for that matter,) they are the ones telling lies to you.
Be free now, stop waiting for when you have arthritis.
Why I write Far Beyond The Stars.
Far Beyond The Stars is written to teach people, who want to change, how to make the transition to the life that I’ve described above.
Far Beyond The Stars is not being published to teach you how to be ordinary and to settle for having a boring life where you don’t push your limits.
I’m actually living this life. I’m a minimalist, I live and work from anywhere. It’s possible.
So, please stop emailing me and asking me to write a blog about being conventional. You don’t need to read a blog to learn how to be normal, it’s easy enough to do what everyone else is doing. The hard part is making a meaningful change in your life in order to make a difference in the world.
I hope that wasn’t too much to handle, I hope it didn’t blow any minds.
With all of that being said, I have one request of you:
- If you aren’t interested in living a minimalist life.
- If you aren’t interested in working for yourself.
- If you aren’t interested in living anywhere in the world.
- If you don’t believe what I’m saying is true.
I want you to unsubscribe from this blog. Because Far Beyond The Stars isn’t being written for you.
The ideas that are put forth on this blog are different. I believe this movement is nothing short of a revolution in the way we consume and the way we live our lives.
I have a feeling that this minimalist movement will go down in history. A generation of influential people are rising up, saying no to stuff, andthey’re starting to live their lives in freedom. Now that is change happening.
Thank you to those who believe in what we’re doing here, and I appreciate your help and I love hearing stories about how you’re changing your lives.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” -Henry David Thoreau
Bonus: Sam Spurlin interviewed me at The Simpler Life. Definitely worth checking out — forgive the fact that it was my first time doing a video interview, it’s a little awkward.